Co-Mission: Enhancing Collaborative Relationships

Last week I introduced Winebrenner’s new digital platform, Co-Mission, which exists for the purpose of reframing the conversations about discipleship and theological education in the Church and Academy.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had the privilege of sharing the Co-Mission site with students, pastors, Trustees, and donors.  Once we go through the “how does it work?” type of conversation we finally settle on the “So, what?” question.  In other words, why and how will Co-Mission be important to Winebrenner Seminary?

First, it’s time we re-evaluate many of our assumptions about physical and digital infrastructures.  When we evaluate our buildings and physical spaces in terms of what they actually accomplish we discover buildings help organize our living and working space by providing offices and meetings rooms.  They also provide a sense of identity when we associate roles with certain geographic locations in a building (think about all of the conversations about C-Suites, of those executive level offices often in the corners of buildings).  So, in many ways buildings provide organization and hierarchy.  Buildings also provide gathering locations where we can assemble to discuss ideas and form and develop relationships.

Co-Mission is developed on the assumption that it can accomplish these three items – organization, hierarchy, and relationship-building – but in a digital space, as opposed to bricks and mortar.  Organization occurs through the naming, layout, and search of specific content.  Hierarchy is found through some videos being labeled “Featured Videos” at the top of the site.  Relationship-building is facilitated through the discussions that can occur in response to the posted recordings.

Second, this is a tool that will allow for enhanced collaboration, which is vital to the future of Winebrenner.  In fact, along with Contextual Education and Community of Learners, Collaborative Relationships is one of our three strategic priorities.  Currently we are testing the site with Winebrenner students so the collaboration is limited to faculty-student or student-student relationships.  However, the site is designed so that other organizations can have their own pages within the site as well.

I firmly believe that God’s kingdom is best expressed when we work in unity toward a common goal.  Co-Mission will become a site that gathers various organizations and individuals together for the purpose of discipleship and theological education.

The world is rapidly changing and we need to develop tools that will assist in spiritual growth in 2022 and beyond (not 1980!).

– Dr. Brent Sleasman, President

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